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10 Popular Tourist Destinations where Photography is Forbidden

Many beautiful museums, heritage sites, sacred places, and even natural reserves request visitors to leave their cameras at home. Things can get really confusing, as we see photos of the Taj Mahal, the Sistine Chapel and especially the Eiffel Tower all the time, meanwhile, it’s forbidden to photograph all three of these sites. To clear up the confusion and to help you have the best possible experience as a tourist, we decided to create a list of extremely popular tourist destinations that don’t allow photography.

1. Eiffel Tower

Location: Paris, France

11 places where photography is forbidden Eiffel Tower
Everyone can take photos of the famous Parisian landmark during the day, but photographing the Eiffel Tower when the nighttime illumination is on is actually illegal. Photographers craving to take a picture of the tower at night and share their photo online will need written permission.

2. Neuschwanstein Castle

Location: Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany
11 places where photography is forbidden Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany
This Bavarian gem was the inspiration for Walt Disney's logo, and I'm sure you can catch the resemblance. But what most people don't know is that visiting the castle is allowed only in guided tours limited to 35 minutes, and photography is strictly banned indoors.

3. Valley of the Kings
Location: Luxor, Egypt

11 places where photography is forbidden Valley of the Kings Luxor, Egypt
The Valley of the Kings is the burial place of Egyptian kings who lived in the 16-11th century B.C. and it's a fascinating sight to behold, but the valuable relics and artifacts held in this place and extremely fragile, and so photography is strictly forbidden. Anyone who brings a camera to the tombs and monuments risks getting a US$115 fine.

4. The Alamo

Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
11 places where photography is forbidden the Alamo Texas USA
The historical site of the Battle of the Alamo turned into the symbol of heroic resistance and is a must-see sight in Texas. Guided tours are available at the historical site, but taking photos on the premises is strictly forbidden.

5. Michelangelo’s Statue of David

Location: Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence, Italy
11 places where photography is forbidden Michelangelo’s Statue of David Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence, Italy
The Statue of David is probably the most famous sculpture in the world, and we all have certainly seen a lot of pictures of the statue. Somewhat confusingly, photographing the famous sculpture is prohibited, and you will be escorted out if you so much as attempt to capture a shot.

6. Westminster Abbey

Location: London, UK

11 places where photography is forbidden Westminster Abbey London, UK
The burial place of English monarchs and famous Brits is an iconic sight, and no one bans you from photographing its luxurious and impressive facade, but when it comes to the interior of the world-famous church, you'll be kindly asked to abstain from photography.
To make up for the missed shots, the management of the church offers everyone to freely download professionally-taken photos of the cathedral from their website.

7. Kumsusan Palace of the Sun

Location: Pyongyang, North Korea
11 places where photography is forbidden Kumsusan Palace of the Sun Pyongyang, North Korea
This building is the burial place of North Korean founder Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il, and it goes without saying that getting into the mausoleum if you're a foreign visitor isn't easy.
Tourists from abroad can ask for permission to visit the place as a part of the official government tour, and if you get in, you have to check-in everything apart from your wallet at the entrance. Then, you have to pass through a dust-blowing machine before you finally enter the room with the sarcophagi. Do we even have to mention that photography isn’t allowed?

8. Uluru and Kata-Tjuta National Park

Location: Northern Australia
11 places where photography is forbidden Uluru and Kata-Tjuta National Park, Australia
Ayers Rock is one of the most famous Australian landmarks, and one that has great cultural importance to the local Aboriginal population, the Anangu. They believe that some of their sacred sites, ceremonies and objects should not be recorded, and Ayers Rock is one of such sights.
In practice, it's certainly quite difficult to ban people from taking pictures in the vast territory of the national park, so unless you plan to share the photo on social media or use it for commercial purposes, you will likely be able to take a quick selfie. Photographers entering with professional equipment, however, will be denied entrance.

9. Sistine Chapel

Location: The Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
11 places where photography is forbidden The Sistine Chapel The Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
A former church, the Sistine Chapel is now a museum that showcases the work of some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, and Cosimo Rosselli, who created exquisite frescos on the walls and the ceiling of the chapel. Preserving these masterpieces in a good state is crucial, and so photography is strictly forbidden, as will surely be pointed out to you at the entrance.
The Sistine Chapel is truly one of its kind, but this is some of the most breathtaking ceiling art we've ever seen.

10. Taj Mahal

Location: Agra, India
11 places where photography is forbidden Taj Mahal Agra, India
As it is the case with many of these tourist destinations, photography from the outside of the Taj Mahal building is allowed, but the interior of the sight is kept photography-free. Smoking, eating and making loud noises are prohibited as well. Recently, the management of the site imposed a time restriction on one's visit: you shouldn't stay for more than 3 hours at a time.
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